Roscoe "Rocky" Carroll (born July 8, 1963) is an American actor. He is known for his roles as Joey Emerson on the FOX comedy-drama Roc, as Dr. Keith Wilkes on the medical drama Chicago Hope, and as Leon Vance on the CBS drama NCIS and its spinoff NCIS: Los Angeles.
Carroll was born Roscoe Fulton Carroll in Cincinnati, Ohio. His acting career is rooted in the theater. In 1981, Carroll graduated from the famed School for Creative and Performing Arts. Determined to further his knowledge of acting, he attended The Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University in St. Louis, where he graduated with a B.F.A. degree. After graduating, Carroll decided to test the waters by moving to New York City, the heart of the theater community. There, he introduced many young children of color to the works of William Shakespeare by participating in Joe Papp's “Shakespeare on Broadway” series.
Carroll married Gabrielle Bullock on May 25, 1996. They have one daughter, Elissa.
As part of Joe Papp's acclaimed New York Shakespeare Festival, Carroll helped to open doors for actors of color, by taking on non-traditional roles that were rarely portrayed by Black actors in Shakespeare dramas. In 1987, Carroll was introduced to the works of August Wilson. The up and coming and talented young actor was allowed to recreate his role for the Broadway production of Wilson's critically acclaimed story The Piano Lesson. The play not only earned a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, but Carroll earned a Tony and Drama Desk nomination.
He is known for portraying ne'er-do-well musician Joey Emerson on the FOX comedy-drama Roc. He also had a starring role as Dr. Keith Wilkes in the TV series Chicago Hope. Carroll has guest starred in several other TV programs including The Agency, Boston Legal, Family Law, The West Wing, Law & Order, and The Game. Carroll has had roles in many Hollywood films such as Born on the Fourth of July, The Ladies Man, Crimson Tide, The Great White Hype, A Prelude to a Kiss, The Chase, Best Laid Plans, Yes Man , ER and Grey's Anatomy.
In the fifth season of the CBS drama NCIS, Carrol was featured in a recurring role as Assistant Director Leon Vance. In so doing, he has been reunited with his Chicago Hope castmates Mark Harmon and Lauren Holly. After the death of the former NCIS director Jenny Shepard, his character became the new director of NCIS, and replaced Holly in the main cast. In 2009, he also played the role of NCIS Director Vance in the NCIS spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles, while Vance was helping to set up the Los Angeles office of NCIS.
He shares his birthday with fellow NCIS co-star Michael Weatherly.